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The first case has occurred of a Catalan independence supporter being jailed despite last Thursday's final legislative approval of the Spanish amnesty law intended to wipe out such prosecutions. Abel Mora has entered a prison centre to serve a sentence of 3 years and 9 months in prison as a co-perpetrator of injuries to a man with a Spanish flag and cap, in relation to an incident in the Barcelona Metro, on November 10th, 2018, when the victim had just left a demonstration held by the Spanish police union Jusapol. Legal sources have confirmed this Monday that Abel Mora entered Catalonia's Brians prison last Thursday, on the same day that the Spanish Congress approved the law that will excuse actions carred out in the context of Catalonia's independence process from judicial punishment. Mora denied assaulting the man or injuring him, a claim supported by the metro CCTV cameras. The Supreme Court, however, accepted the ruling that he is a co-author of the crime of "malicious injury and aggravated hatred" because he "kept watch over the surroundings that allowed" another young man, who was unidentified, to push the victim in the back down a metro stairway, after which he fell and rolled downstairs, suffering injuries. Thus, the convicted man must also pay compensation of 9,000 euros to the victim, who took 12 days to heal, was unable to do his job for five of those days, and was also left with moderate aesthetic damage as a consequence, according to the sentence.

It was in September of last year that the Supreme Court confirmed the conviction, which had been imposed by a Barcelona criminal court on the man, and then later ratified by the higher Barcelona Audience court. In the first ruling, the judge established in the account of events that Abel had taken part on that November 10th, 2018 in a demonstration opposed to that of the Jusapol police union, and that with another young man they followed the victim at the end of the protest to the Plaça Urquinaona metro stop "with the sole purpose of causing him bodily harm".

"Defence of pro-independence postulates with an anarchist slant"

In the Supreme Court ruling, the court, presided over by judge Manuel Marchena, dismissed the cassation appeal and the defence argument that the convicted man did not act together with the other person and nor was there "malicious" action, and confirmed the ratification already given by the Barcelona Audience. "The accused and his companion noticed the victim because he was carrying a large Spanish flag and wearing a cap featuring the Spanish coat of arms. The appellant, in defence of his pro-independence postulates with an anarchist slant, together with his companion, felt animosity for those who, by identifying themselves through symbols with the feeling of belonging to the Spanish nation and taking part in what, according to [the perpetrators], was an action exalting such feelings, they linked to political and anti-nationalist thinking that they placed in positions antagonistic to the Catalan independence movement. The rejection of this group, in which they included the victim, was what prompted them to lash out at him," the Supreme Court says.

Manuel Marchena's ruling adds that the three of them entered the metro, and after they passed the payment turnstiles, the unknown perpetrator pushed the victim in the back, an action on which the malice is founded, and Abel was keeping watch, and then the two of them ran off and left the victim on the ground. With regard to Abel's action, the court even makes assumptions and states: "He watched over the surroundings to ensure the success of the action pursued by both, and the ability to escape, without it being discarded that he might have played a greater role in the materialization of the attack, if, when the time came, it had been necessary."

And for this reason, the Supreme Court confirms that he is a co-author of the injuries, because there was "a coincidence of wills aimed at the same end; and this is what is called joint misconduct”.

Demonstration of support at Brians

The young man's lawyer, acting ex officio, did not call for the suspension of his entry into prison despite the amnesty law, and now he has a new lawyer. Abel's supporters have announced a march to Brians prison to demand his freedom, on Sunday at 11am from the Martorell Renfe railway station. The Alerta Solidària legal aid body includes Abel among the 419 activists and demonstrators who must be granted amnesty. In addition, Abel's defence could be the first practical case that needs the support of the Sindicatura de la Amnistia (Amnesty Commission) legal team, launched by Òmnium Cultural this Tuesday so that all those who have faced such judicial retaliation are amnestied.

In the main photo, one of the protests of the Jusapol police union in Barcelona, ​​answered by pro-independence demonstrators / Photo: Sergi Alcàzar / Archive